Charles Pears was born in the quiet market town of Pontefract, Yorkshire on 9 Sept. 1873. A professional illustrator from the time he was 17, Charles did his duty in the Royal Marines as an officer in World War I, although in his 40s at the time. He also served as an official war artist through the Second World War, by then in his later 60s, but still on the list of the Royal Naval Reserve.
The Bombing of the British Chancellor in Falmouth Docks, 10 July 1940
Many of the ships he captured are immortalised nowhere else and it is through his scholarship that generations who will never know the experience of a true leviathan ship of war may gaze upon his art and remember.
Charles Pears was a founder member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists, a member of both the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the first elected President of the Society of Marine Artists, A thorough Englishman, he made his peacetime living by drawing and painting captivating travel images for the Empire Marketing Board and British Railways as well as for periodicals like Punch and The Yellow Book. Between 1902 and 1933, with a break for his wartime service, he illustrated more than 50 books, ranging from A Christmas Carol to The Great War. He came to live permanently in St Mawes in 1946 and though he died in 1958 aged 84, his art is timeless.
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